In the UFC 263 main event, Israel Adesanya will look to make the third defence of his middleweight title in a highly anticipated rematch against Marvin Vettori. Who’ll take home the 185lb strap? Let’s see what the LowKickMMA staff think.

Jordan Ellis: I expect Israel Adesanya to finish this fight inside three rounds. I believe ‘Stylebender’ has come on leaps and bounds since his first fight with Marvin Vettori. ‘The Italian Dream’ has progressed well too but not at the same pace. He’s very hittable and aggressive which I believe will make him vulnerable against the middleweight champion who’ll put him to sleep in the UFC 263 main event.

Prediction: Israel Adesanya

Keelin McNamara: I can only see one outcome in this fight, and that is Israel Adesanya sending a statement to the rest of the Middleweight division and laying the smackdown on Marvin Vettori. For my money, Vettori is FAR too emotional and invested in this fight, and I think Adesanya is going to pick him apart because of that. On the MMA Island podcast, I predicted a 2nd round knockout for “The Last Stylebender”, but a 1st round KO would not shock me either. Vettori is a very good wrestler, but I still haven’t seen any argument that justifies him being in this fighter over Derek Brunson. Also, he got hurt by a morally broken and physically tired Kevin Holland every time they were on the feet. With the array of weapons in his arsenal, one has to wonder what Adesanya is capable of doing to Vettori. 2nd round knockout to Israel Adesanya for me personally.

Prediction: Israel Adesanya

Maria Morales: Adesanya.  Vettori has definitely earned the title shot, but I think that he’s so focussed on the split decision that he is going into the rematch truly underestimating the champ.  The argument that he will win if he fights Adesanya the way that Blachowicz fought him is actually an insult to the light heavyweight champion and doesn’t account for the dangerous combination of skill and power that Blachowicz has.  I remember not too long ago when a 13-0 contender named Paulo Costa was crashing his way to a title shot and, much like Vettori, aggressively told us all how he would destroy Adesanya.  Well, we saw how that went and I do not believe it will be much different in this fight

Prediction: Israel Adesanya

Alex Lough: Adesanya is one of those fighters that has two modes: invigorating and infuriating. There is no in between. When he’s on (like he was against Whittaker and Costa) he looks like he has a legitimate claim to the GOAT throne. When he’s off (like he was against Romero and Blachowicz) you wonder how he ever got this far in the first place. Everything about Vettori’s style says he has the ability to frustrate and wear down Adesanya over the course of 5 rounds. But still, there’s something inside of me that feels like we’ll see another world class performance from ‘The Last Stylebender’. He’s just too talented to have two sub-par performances in a row. He’s always managed to bounce back and shut his critics up, and I predict we’ll see that happen again. Adesanya by KO.

Prediction: Israel Adesanya

Ross Markey: Out of all the opponents Israel Adesanya could face in his return to the middleweight division following a failed light heavyweight excursion in March — Marvin Vettori certainly has a real chip on his shoulder, maybe more so than any other challenger at 185lbs. Hoping to avenge an April 2018 loss to the defending champion during the pair’s initial rise through the middleweight ranks, the Trento native has managed to lodge five consecutive victories since. Scoring two successful takedowns against Adesanya back in 2018, Vettori can take some solace in the fact that Jan Blachowicz managed to flatten Adesanya to his back twice via takedowns back in March. However, closing the distance on Adesanya to reach for his legs or trunk is much easier said than done, given his countering ability which is second to none at middleweight. Adesanya to successfully defend via a late knockout.

Prediction: Israel Adesanya

A lifelong fight fan from Liverpool, England who has been covering mixed martial arts (MMA) and boxing for several years. Follow @JordanEllisUK on Twitter for all the latest fight news, views, interviews and live event coverage.